Increasing transparency.

May 27, 2006

In the future, all interviews will look like this:

http://www.channel4.com/player/playerwindow.html?id=5119&vert=news

The magic happens between 1:15 and 4:50.

We’ve all seen interviewees dodge questions or get flustered on live TV and fumble their lines, but I think this interview takes us into new, previously uncharted territory. I get the distinct impression that Steve Easterbrook (Chief Exec of McDonald’s UK) has sunk so far into the murky world of arcane business-speak and corporate propoganda that he genuinely does not know how to communicate like a normal, rational human being.

It’s a world where clarity of expression, actual content and facts & figures don’t figure at all; it’s all about the soundbite. This is nothing new of course, but here Mr. Easterbrook has brought that trend to its radical, logical conclusion by simply repeating the same phrase over and over; a Mcmantra, if you will: ‘There are always myths surrounding the company, but I plan to run the business in an increasingly transparent way.’

Transparency. Transparently transparent. Transparent transparency. Like any word, the more you say it, the less it means, until you’re left with a nice-sounding but utterly empty husk of noise. In fact, there couldn’t be a more opaque and occult way to run a company or deal with the media.

But, hey, let’s separate the facts from the fiction here: It’s just McDonald’s, isn’t it? It’s just a burger (or is it a sandwich?). And Steve Easterbrook’s just made a fool of himself on Channel 4.

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3 Responses to “Increasing transparency.”

  1. Mark Says:

    Ok, I couldnt resist and I nearly fell off my chair! HAHAHAHAHA! What amused me most was the “how many salads you sold, then?” bit and the alarmingly transparent “I’m not going to tell you that” response.

    I read Fast Food Nation a few years ago when I was fat and needed reasons not to go to McDonalds. It was great until the last few chapters when it went all too left-wing personal political agenda. Poor cows, though.

    Steve should probably touch base with some high flyers from the PR department before his next national TV interview. Word.


  2. […] A couple of weeks ago, I posted a link to a cringingly-funny interview with Steve Easterbrook, UK Chief Exec of McDonald’s. […]


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